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Awkward situation - suggestions?

  • Member PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 16 posts
  • # 115292

Hello all.

I've recently taken on a new client and have a difficult situation as the previous 'Accountant', who was mostly doing bookkeeping, is still involved.

I'm finding issue such as:
Customer receipts not posted (going back 5 years!)
Purchase Invoices not paid (again a long way back)
No Sage bank reconcilation since inception (2008) - although there are paper based reconcilations - of a sort.
No Payroll journals - just net payments from Gross wages, pensions, 2210 for Paye (which has a big debit balance as a result)

Basically a mess - but clients don't change when everything's smooth do they!
I do have a small concern about the accuracy fo prior year accountants (double counting for VAT for example looks like a possibility)

However - really struggling to get any assistance from the previous bookkeeper, but he is arguing about how I'm trying to enter corrections.

Not sure he his qualified at all (no affiliation on his invoices, not even a full address) although they refer to him as an accountant.I've been unable to verify him at all.

After 6 weeks I think I'm faced with a choice.  I don't believe it's going to work while the previous person is still involved at all, but as he has the backing of the company owner (not involved day-to-day) it seems he's unlikely to be let go.  The directors that run the company both want him gone!

I don't believe I have enough concerns to warrant filing a SAR (unless incompetence qualifies as a crime).

I'm most likely to have to let the client go.

Any obvious thoughts from those with more experience?

Ian

  • Member
  • Practice Licence
  • 39 posts
  • # 115305

Hello Ian,

 

I wouldn't worry about past records unless your brief from the client is to get involved with those specifically. And unless you are absolutely 100% certain, those records may have been included in any accounts - just not put on sage. I've seen that many times along with payroll only being recorded as net pay.

Its quite possible that sage is used only to record some transactions and the accountant brings things together in another format elsewhere as a result the balance sheet looks horrendous - it could be that the opening balances have never being posted and so the situation gets worse at eahc year end.

If it were me i'd start with saying i would like to complete the sage record. - could I have some opening balances please Mr/s accountant - that way you're not blaming anyone or saying there are corrections needed (implying mistakes) you are merely asking for something that is common practice within the industry - no accountant or bookkeeper who is any good should bat an eyelid at being asked for OB's because they would know they've made lots of adjustments and have a record of such. If they do shuffle or um and err - then it might be time to walk.

 

  • Member PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 16 posts
  • # 115306

Hi

Thanks for the advice. Having had a conversation with ICB today I have a better idea of how I'll be proceeding.
Unfortunately, cleaning up the historic customer invoices and payments was their top priority so I can't really skip beyond that!

 

Ian

  • Associate
  • Practice Licence
  • 34 posts
  • # 115357

Ian J said:

Hi

Thanks for the advice. Having had a conversation with ICB today I have a better idea of how I'll be proceeding.
Unfortunately, cleaning up the historic customer invoices and payments was their top priority so I can't really skip beyond that!

 

Ian


 I'm glad the ICB were able to offer suggestions as to the way forward. It's nice to know they are there when you need help. I'm just starting up in practcie myself and I'm sure I'll be needing their advice in the months to come. 

It would be useful to know what the solution was in case I ever come across a similar situation. 

 

Best wishes, Naomi. 

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